Like the mythical phoenix, the AASI Jetcruzer 450/500 may arise from its ashes to fly again, this time as a single-turbofan, experimental airplane rather than a certified single-turboprop pusher. It was in April 2002 that Advanced Aerodynamics & Structures Inc. (AASI), after completing its acquisition of the bankrupt Mooney Aircraft Co., changed its name, as expected, to Mooney Aerospace Group (MASG).
Safire Aircraft has selected Keith Products to supply the air conditioning for its very light jet, which is currently under development. The vapor-cycle system will be standard equipment on the six-place twinjet. Miami-based Safire also named Barry Controls to provide vibration isolators and mounting structure for the airplane’s two Williams International FJ33 turbofans.
The advent of very light jets has prompted an FAA proposal to require that all new certification projects for turbofan-powered airplanes of 6,000 pounds or less mtow undergo function and reliability testing similar to that which has been required for larger fanjet-powered airplanes. F&R testing would add complexity, time and cost to new-design projects. The new requirement would not apply to developmental projects already under way.
At General Electric, the official corporate slogan is “Imagination at work.” At Honda, it’s “The power of dreams.” The two companies announced last month they have merged them in an alliance to develop, certify, market and support Honda’s 1,670-pound-thrust HF118 turbofan. The result could be one of the most innovative global alliances in business-aviation history.
Honeywell’s small heavy fuel engine (SHFE), in development since 2003, “will change the game for turboshaft engines in the future,” predicted Ron Rich, the company’s director of advanced aerospace technology.
Few sounds are louder than a jet aircraft at takeoff.
The decibel level of a climbing jet engine at full power can be higher (140 dB) than that of a chain saw (110 dB) or ambulance siren (120 dB), according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
But relief may be a toggle away, if recent university research finds its way into aircraft cockpits.
The FAA issued an emergency AD on Friday to all owners and operators of GE CF34-3A1, -3B and -3B1 turbofans after NTSB investigators found an electrical arc-out defect in the fan disk of the engine that broke apart on a Mesa Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 during a revenue flight on January 25.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in another record high in billings and an all-time high in business jet deliveries.
Starting with the new Challenger 300 powerplant, Honeywell will designate all future turbine engines with letters to identify the type of propulsion, such as HTF for a Honeywell turbofan, HTP for a turboprop and HTS for a turboshaft. Previously, the powerplant in the Challenger 300 was designated the AS907 (where AS stood for AlliedSignal–the company that bought Honeywell in late 1999 and adopted the Honeywell name).
One of the technologies that Honeywell says promises to revolutionize aircraft design is something known as “more electric architecture” (MEA). This “breakthrough” technology will replace much of today’s heavy and maintenance-intensive pneumatic and hydraulic fluid and power systems, enabling OEMs to design aircraft with lighter, simpler and more reliable “electric” systems instead of miles of tubing, pumps and valves.